Should I blog? (as artist)

March 10, 2006

Robert Genn

Yesterday, Carol Barber of Gainesville, Florida wrote, "I've
been hearing that the way to sell your art and to be known as
an artist these days is to be a blogger. I've read that artists
need to connect with the public because they want to know the
artist. Collectors are buying the artist, not just the art. I
know the most important thing for me is to strive for high
quality in my art. Marketing seems a tricky business. Then
there is you. The art world knows you as a friend and you come
across as likable, joyous and living the idyllic artist life.
Is exposure the answer?"

Thanks Carol. I've always sort of agreed with George Bernard
Shaw: "When you know the artist you think less of the art." It
seemed better to me to be in my studio, paying attention to my
process, striving for demon quality. To be straight up, my
motivation for writing the Twice-Weekly letter was to get off a
whole bunch of arts-related boards and to try to make my modest
contribution in a more direct way. The Internet makes it
possible. I want to help creative people to think about things.
I also like the idea of the artistic global village, and the
brotherhood and sisterhood of artists.

Robert Henri said, "Through art, mysterious bonds of
understanding and of knowledge are established. They are the
bonds of a great brotherhood. Those who are of the brotherhood
know each other, and time and space cannot separate them." When
you get a bit older, like me, it's nice to be known by what you
think. I walked into a room the other day and everyone there
was a subscriber. Some of them were collectors. And they knew,
golly they knew, what I was thinking about. There really is
something to be said for not having to answer the question,
"Are you still painting?"

At the present time there are 70,000 new blogs going up every
day. Several thousand readers of this letter run some sort of
blog. Some bloggers report hundreds of visitors, others
thousands. While exposure won't make an inadequate artist
successful, blogs are a part of the widespread and ongoing
democratization of our world. Unless something comes along to
wreck it, the future is online. There's a future in posting
your art for the world to see. There's a future in telling your
story. There's a future in sharing. Sharing might just be our
salvation. "Friends share all things." (Plato) 

PS: "The only way forward is in the direction of a common
passion, for nothing in the universe can ultimately resist the
cumulative ardor of the collective soul." (Pierre Teilhard de